TwitterLit Advice Issue 1: Writing a Synopsis

If you’re a writer, #TwitterLit is the place to be! You can connect with authors, readers, agents, editors, and publishers, get all kinds of writing / editing / querying advice, participate in Twitter pitch parties, win books, critiques, and mentorships, and so much more.

If you’re not on Twitter, get on it. If you can’t, I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop with this #TwitterLit Advice series.

In each issue, I will focus on a specific aspect of writing, and share the best advice I can find from agents, editors, publishers, and published authors on Twitter. I’ll occasionally share advice from readers and unpublished authors when relevant to the topic.

Today, I’m going to to share Twitter advice about writing a synopsis. You don’t have to look far on Twitter to find writers struggling to write a synopsis:

 
About that last tweet: when we talk about a synopsis, we’re not talking about the 100 or so word blurb that goes in your query letter:

 
The query and the synopsis have different forms and functions:

 
A synopsis lays out the main plot points of your entire book, including how it ends:

 
Agents and editors need a synopsis to do their job. It’s a tool they use throughout the publishing process:

 
Your synopsis should be thorough, but focused:

 
Be concise, but be specific in your synopsis:

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Some agents will want you to send a synopsis even if they haven’t specifically asked for it, while others say only send it if they have.

 
Yes, sometimes #TwitterLit gives conflicting advice. What isn’t unclear: you should write a synopsis before you start querying, and you should always follow submission guidelines:

 
And never include a synopsis in place of a query:

 
Finally, a few miscellaneous synopsis writing tips: